Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself Campaign
Advocates for Youth is launching a nationwide campaign designed to begin a conversation about condoms and emphasize their important place in the fight against unintended pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases:
The Respect Yourself. Protect Yourself. Campaign comes at a critical time as conservatives in Congress and the administration promote a sexual health agenda based far more on ideology than on public health science. Among other things, conservative factions in Congress and the administration have spent more than one billion in public funding to promote abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that censor information about the effectiveness of condoms and removed information about the health benefits of condoms from the Web sites of at least two federal agencies. Just this month, a group of conservative organizations and lawmakers led by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) pushed the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for condom labeling that would emphasize condom failure rates instead of condoms' effectiveness.
"Twenty-eight million young people under the age of 25 (including 8 million under the age of 19), have had sexual intercourse," said James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth. "To undermine public confidence in condoms -- the most effective prevention tool we have for people who are sexually active -- violates core principles of public health and flies in the face of basic common sense. This campaign is our way of cutting through hypocrisy and censorship and educating youth about the importance of condom use."
Respect Yourself. Protect Yourself. is based on a highly successful campaign conducted by the German Federal Centre for Health Education -- the German equivalent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For almost 20 years, the German campaign has achieved the largest impact among sexually active youth ages 16 through 20, 87 percent of whom reported using condoms in 2003 (up from 59 percent in 1988).